Movie review – Manto (2018)

Movie review – Manto (2018)

Movie review – Manto (2018)

I’ll keep it short and to the point so it doesn’t get spoiled for any of the readers here, I watched Manto without reading any of his work and not knowing what to expect but I did know what kind of material he wrote and the “taboo” subjects he touched through his work so I was excited nonetheless.



Manto was famous for his “obscene” and “vulgar” style of writing and often found himself criticized for his blunt approach of writing, his writing depicts a real and dirty face of society which was very controversial to many back then and even today many may disapprove of his work, he faced charges of obscenity 6 times, thrice in India and thrice post independence in Pakistan.

Manto 2018, is a biography based on the life of Urdu author Saadat Hasan Manto, his short stories and how the India-Pakistan partition affected him and others around him. The movie casts Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Manto, Rasika Dugal as Safia(Manto’s wife) and is directed by Nandita Das.

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Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s brilliant performance along with a screenplay just as good makes the movie extremely captivating, the movie overall has a very sad theme describing the painful realities of the 40’s and 50’s through Manto’s immortal words. Rasika Dugal also gave a fine performance as Safia. Rishi Kapoor and Paresh Rawal can also be seen in the film with short but meaningful roles.

The movie starts with Manto’s “Dus Rupay”, a short story which focuses on child prostitution in which a mother is shown helping a very young girl getting ready for her customers and the father is shown ordering the girl to be nice as the customers have paid a good price. Four of his other short stories, 100-Watt Bulb, Khol Do, Thanda Gosht and Toba Tek Singh are also described throughout the movie.



The movie doesn’t include any needless soundtracks just very little music at very appropriate times including Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s famous “Bol Ke Lab Azaad Hain”  sung by Vidhya Shah and Rashid Khan.

After watching the movie, I can’t wait to read not only Manto’s writing but also about his lifetime, his achievements and his despair. Manto is currently rated 7.4/10 on IMDB.

 

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